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Class of '18.....or not
Old 05-13-2017, 07:08 AM   #1
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Class of '18.....or not

Hi, been lurking and learning here for some time so thought it was time to intro myself a bit.

Me: 51, after a lot of intense years have engineered myself into a "comfortably senior" role, meaning decent money and responsibility without being in the first line of fire when things go wrong. I deliberately changed jobs and took a pay cut three years ago to get to this after way too many years of dreading going to work. Zero regrets.

DW: 53, left the workforce a few months ago after 25 years at an accounting firm. She'd had enough and is happily in detox mode now.

At this point I've developed enough ongoing outside interests that work is really starting to get in the way.

If I walked after the first of the year we'd have an initial WR of ~3.4%, with later fluctuations for add'l taxes on deferred account withdrawals and SS income. Coming up in the DC world not the DB one, we have all the investment risk, no meaningful pension income. We've been passive investors almost from day one after a couple of quick but luckily not too painful lessons and our mantra has generally been keep saving, keep investing and get on with life. We were prudently frugal and selectively extravagant long before we'd ever heard that phrase. We haven't been "lucky" in that there's been no windfalls, but we're well aware we've benefitted from an absence of "bad luck", e.g. no job losses, major medical bills, etc.

Even with a 40+ year horizon I feel like I'm on the cusp of being able to say b-bye to gainful employment too. Then the uncertainty kicks in.

Fear of investment risk - that 3.4% initial WR is where walking begins to be viable based on the calculations, research, etc, but still concerned it doesn't cover enough downside risk for today's environment. I'm not sure where my unique "comfort" number is yet. It's not solely a math thing anymore, it's real. I have options to economize if needed, plus we live in a very high COL area and relocating would solve most issues, but those are responses, option B's, not desired actions.

Fear of the usual suspects too, the uncertainty of healthcare costs, SS changes, etc.

OMY has few downsides other than every year I put off spending the time on other areas of our lives is time we can never recoup. Sigh. RE class of '18? Maybe.....but then maybe early '19.

Wanted to say thanks for the education over the years, and I'm glad there's a forum like this where others are struggling with the same questions and opportunities.

LDR
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Old 05-13-2017, 07:20 AM   #2
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
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LDR,

I notice it is your first post and you recently joined. Assume you have been reading for many years w/out registering or posting. No worries. I was like that for awhile. There are many posters in your position. Fear of the unknown and some known's. As others have stated in other posts, run the calculations and scenario's. Have answers/responses/reaction scenario's for the unknowns. AA and a 3 year cash/bond allocation can hedge against an early sequence of return risk.

Good luck. It would be great to see your name added to the officially unofficial class of 2018 roster.
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Old 05-13-2017, 09:09 AM   #3
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Welcome to the board and hope you'll find your "sweet spot". A good number of folks here (myself included) are quite comfortable with a 3.4% withdrawal rate. Then a gain, a good number of folks are NOT! IT's an individual things that you'll have to come to grips yourself (+DW). Do you (or DW) have a shot at retiree health insurance assistance from current/past employer? That usually is very helpful and removes uncertainty. Also, at your calculate 3.4%, do you have decent slack in your spending budget so that you could tighten the belt for a few years, if you had to?
Lots to think about - best of luck. Here is to 2018!
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Old 05-13-2017, 09:33 AM   #4
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Welcome! If you haven't found them already, we have a helpful list of things to think about before you make the leap:

Some Important Questions to Answer

Nice to have you join us in contributing to the forum!
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